Happy National Running Day!

So many of my friends are blogging these days, I felt compelled to give this blogging thing a try.  So here goes…

Today is National Running Day.  How do I know that?  Because Brooks Running sent me an email telling me so.  As I saw posts and messages all day on Facebook about National Running Day, it got me thinking about a question that folks often ask runners.  Why do you run?

Why do I run?  Sometimes, I run for a charity.  I’ve run the Mercedes Marathon and Half Marathon in Birmingham for the last three years in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., for the Semper Fi Fund in 2010.  I’ll be running that marathon this October to raise money for the fund again.  I’ll also be running the St. Jude Memphis Marathon in December for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Although I do enjoy using running to help worthy charities, it’s not the reason I run.

So why do I run?  Sometimes I run to see what I can accomplish.  After I ran a couple of 5Ks, I decided to try a 10K.  After a couple of those, I thought I could run a half marathon.  After a couple of those, I wanted to run a marathon.  Just one to say I did it.  One turned into two and two into three and so on.  I even ran a 50K on trails at Oak Mountain State Park.  After that, I let my other crazy running friends talk me into a 10-hour endurance run.  At each level, I had the thought in the back of my mind that I may have bitten off more than I can chew.  Somehow, I was able to complete each distance.  Although I do enjoy pushing myself to new limits, it’s not the reason I run.

The reason I run is because of the friends I’ve made over the past four years since I joined Danny Haralson’s “Couch to 5K” program through Run University.  My closest friends are the group of people I run with every morning from Mountain Brook Village.  We call ourselves The Village Runners.  We see each other almost every day.  We travel to run races together.  We celebrate our successes together.  We help one another train for races and make sure everyone gets their miles in.  At the end of the day, I know they have my back and they know I have theirs.  You want to know why I run?  It’s because of the relationships that I have fostered within the running community.  There’s just nothing like it.

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